If you have asthma, living life can be a hassle in and of itself. Even menial tasks like taking a flight of stairs can trigger an attack.
But can the foods you eat help lessen these issues? That’s what a recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal suggests.
The study linked a diet of fruits, veggies and whole grains to improved control of asthma symptoms. We’ve always known that a diet like this is beneficial for a lot of us, but this is still super important.
However, just how did researchers get to this conclusion? And how exactly should this diet look?
What Did the Study Entail?
The Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research sought to find out if diet truly could affect asthma.
While the idea is not new, there are hardly any studies backing it up. Researchers wanted to prove a correlation between healthy eating and improved symptoms.
The study consisted of an assessment of 34,665 French adults and their responses to detailed questions in a 2017 NutriNet-Santé study about respiratory health.
Why is this important? Well, because a portion of participants experienced at least one symptom of asthma (25% of men surveyed, and 28% of women).
The questions ranged from symptom frequency to which symptoms interfered with normal daily activities. Their diets and nutrition were also rigorously analyzed. No stones were left unturned!
So, what were the exact findings?
Men who stayed close to a healthy diet of fruit, veggies and whole grains turned out to be 30% less likely to experience asthma symptoms as compared to those who did not follow that lifestyle. Women were 20% less likely.
Both men and women who followed that diet were also less likely to experience poorly-controlled symptoms.
What Might a Healthy Asthma Diet Look Like?
Although more study is needed for conclusive evidence, a large portion of the nutritionist community believes diets of processed foods have at least contributed to the rising numbers of asthma cases.
Unfortunately, it’s also believed that the there is no “miracle food” for asthma, at least for the time being. But a well-rounded diet could help.
This general information won’t help when you’re in a grocery store aisle. So, here are a few tips from Healthline:
Things to Avoid
Healthline recommends to stay away from:
- Sulfites (can be found in wine, shrimp and dried fruits)
- gas-causing foods (like beans, cabbage and onions)
- artificial ingredients (like preservatives or even flavorings)
Basically, a diet that would be beneficial for asthma would mean a low (if any) amount of highly processed foods. Gas-causing food may also be problematic because that can lead to acid reflux, which can lead to chest tightness, which may flare asthma symptoms.
Stock Up on Foods That Are Naturally Full of Vitamins
The Vitamin D Council reports that sufficient vitamin D consumption could help decrease the amount of asthma attacks in children aged 6 to 15. Some common foods that are Vitamin D-rich include salmon, eggs and milk.
Vitamin A could be of benefit, too. One study found that children with asthma had lower levels of this vitamin as compared to others without. Plus, the vitamin may also support the body’s response to lung function. This vitamin naturally occurs in carrots, cantaloupe and leafy greens.
If You Have Food Allergies, Respect Them Accordingly
Some of us with food allergies might slip up purposely a few times. Sometimes we might think the cake is absolutely worth ingesting the gluten. But we’re wrong!
As it turns out, having asthma means you have increased risks of food allergies. Allergic reactions can cause asthma symptoms to flare up. So, if your body says no to peanuts, we’re sorry: that means no peanuts!
Don’t Take This with a Grain of Salt, but DO Take It with Omega-3’s
While more research is needed, many believe that eating less salt (thereby decreasing sodium intake) can help alleviate asthma symptoms. Plus, eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (like cold-water fish, and some nuts and seeds) may help, too.
Helping You Stay Healthy
Here at Purium, we just want you to be healthy. Check out our specials for phytonutrient blends that can support a healthy diet.